systems integration

Simplifying Systems Integration for Sell-Side Traders

How can benefit sell-side traders and bring firm-wide ROI?

As any technologist is aware, there is always a large divide between what a trader would like to achieve with technology and what is actually possible. A trader may explain what they are hoping for, such as pulling data from app A and sending it to app B, seeing data values in an order blotter, linking separate windows or integrating system X with Y. These requests are certainly doable, but not always simple, with a variety of reasons why the request may not be granted, such as:

    • This will require back-end and front-end changes which will take time. (Lengthy IT systems integration project)
    • I’ll have to add it to the product backlog and then we will look to prioritize but it’s likely to be at least a few months or longer. (Needs to go to the back of the queue, may never get prioritized – high effort, low value)
    • We need to wait until system X has been upgraded. They said we should get a release at the end of the year. (Dependency on vendor for software release)
    • We can’t do it the way you want but how about I show you what we could do. (You need to bend your business processes to fit with the technology)

Of course, there are always a small number of requests that can be pushed through quickly and in the way that the traders wanted. When that happens it’s a win-win for the business and technology – rare but happy days all around.

The importance of systems integration for the business

As technologies have evolved, the focus has switched. Rather than the business having to bend its process around the technology and its limitations, the technology now flexes with the business – putting trader needs at the forefront and in turn, simplifying systems integration and eliminating swivel-chair workflows. This has been a major cultural shift and has seen waterfall methodologies and lengthy IT projects replaced with agile methodologies and new ways to integrate applications.

The traditional build vs. buy debate is now becoming buy, build and blend.

This has led to rapid innovation on the trading floor. Firms can remain competitive, achieve better operational control over their businesses and manage costs better.

Speed up systems integration and get the ROI now

The question for many embarking on digital transformation journeys is knowing where to start. The beauty of is that we recognize there are many roads to digital transformation, so why not take a “multi-path” approach? This allows firms to supplement and eventually replace legacy platforms incrementally without turning the lights off. provides a “bottom-up” approach to digital transformation, supported with world-class technology and real-world experience in our team of technologists, thought leaders, and capital markets professionals. In addition, we provide out-of-the-box adapters between popular applications found on the trader’s desktop (Bloomberg, Fidessa, Excel, Salesforce, etc.). Additionally, everything we do is supported by standards such as FDC3, so firms are free to bring in other interop technologies as needed.

By solving one business problem at a time, we enable firms to deliver solutions to their trading desks without large budgets and at lightning speed; in a matter of days rather than months.

What is is a business solution that allows firms to create highly intuitive workflows and workspaces where data is tracked and synchronized in real-time between applications of any kind – web, native, in-house or third-party. For sell-side firms, this means traders (and salespeople) can increase the speed and quality of client service and order execution, maximize internalization, and better exploit their market knowledge. can help sell-side firms with:

    • One-click access to market intelligence by syncing ticker information between applications.
    • One-click synchronization across applications on quotes, pricing, analytics and news for idea generation, faster decision making and best execution.
    • At the point of order receipt or execution, the ability to click on an order/basket and get pre-trade TCA or relevant analytics for that order/basket in the trader’s analytics platform of choice.
    • One-click access to client profile, holdings, interests, past orders and more to know who to call and why
    • Personalized and targeted client conversations.
    • Streamlined workflows between sales, trading, research, and the back office, increasing order crossing, reducing time to resolve trade breaks, and other multi-person activities.
    • The quickest path to ROI through workflow automation.

How does work in practice?

Let’s take a simple example. I’m an execution trader with a trading ecosystem that comprises various applications including an OEMS, market data terminal, TCA, analytics, chat, Excel and more. I must stay on top of market dynamics and liquidity, act quickly on massive amounts of information to accurately and profitably make markets. However, critical information like order details, TCA, client profiles and market intelligence often sit in multiple, disconnected applications so I’m constantly having to do ‘swivel-chair, up-down workflows’ to type the same data into different applications in order to build a helicopter view of a trading opportunity.

By doing this, I have already missed prices and volume and have created operational risk by potentially inputting the wrong data. This is a serious business problem on multiple fronts. To stay ahead in today’s high-volume, high-volatility environment, streamlining sell-side workflows is essential.

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